20 November 2009

A Rose By Any Other Name....

In "About Behrmark" I mentioned that I have several nicknames and there's a story behind each one. A couple readers expressed interest so today I'm sharing the stories. In no particular order:

*MARKUS: This nickname probably isn't too difficult to decipher. Back when I was in college, I worked for a clothing retailer, Miller's Outpost. Basically we sold jeans and casual clothes. There were five Mikes working at the same time and the manager was always calling me Mike. So I finally told her to call me "Markus" in order to distinguish myself from the "Mikes" (which happens to be my brother's name). I opted for the Germanic spelling so I could retain the "k" in my name. So all of my work pals called me Markus. In 1986 after graduating college, I was talked into auditioning for my very first community theater show. Since the friend who convinced me to just audition knew me as "Markus" that's what I put on the audition sheet. I got cast (ironically, the show was "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum") and most of my theater friends call me Markus. And occasionally they spell it correctly!

*BEHR: This is an occasional nickname that is used mostly by online friends who don't know my "real" name. That's okay, because I kind of like it. Several years ago when I ventured into the online bear world, I wanted to come up with a user name that would fit into that world, one that would identify me to others. On the defunct bear.net site, I read descriptions of "bear," "cub," "behr," etc and identified with "behr." Supposedly it's someone who isn't physically characteristic of a bear but has the "attitude." Remember, this was back before the emergence of the musclebears. Because I was on the chunky side, with little body hair I felt this fit. So I teamed up "behr" with "Mark" to create Behrmark! Simple, eh?

*SANTA: Only a few friends use this nickname for me, one in particular. I had gone out with my friends Christopher and Michael to a play and we stopped at a West Hollywood bar afterwards. My friend snapped a picture of me:

As you can see, my beard was a bit bushy and upon seeing the pic I said "I look like fucking Santa!" And so the nickname stuck. (That's Michael in the picture with me.)

*BELLE: Shortly after meeting my ex for the first time, he introduced me to a group of guys, the Disneybears. It was a group of bearish men who met at the Disneyland Resort on a weekly basis during the summer to enjoy the rides, food, and fireworks. I made quite a few friends some of which I remain good friends with today. Anyway, onto the nickname. My ex, Steve, and some others got it into their pea-brains to assign Gone With The Wind characters to various members of our Disneybear group. Surprisingly enough, most of the assignments really worked based on the character personality and the guy's. When I asked who I was I was told "Belle Watling." Now I'm sure I don't have to tell you all that Belle is the whore. The slut. The succubus. One friend explained that I'm Belle because I "make friends easily" and have a heart of gold. Okay well since he put it that way! Once when there was a group of us at Disneyland, my friend was calling Mark! Mark! and I wasn't responding. He yelled "BELLE!" and I immediately turned around. So I guess I really am Belle Watling....even if my bosom isn't quite as ample as it should be. Oh incidentally, my ex was originally India Wilkes (the bitter old maid) but he didn't like that so he was rechristened Mammy. To this day I refer to him by this nickname. Just as a reminder, here's Ona Munson as Belle Watling:

So there you have it...the nicknames that I have. Quite a collection if you ask me. Just so's you know...I'll basically answer to anything. BEHR HUGS!!


Mark in DE said...

Very interesting! I believe I would have had the same reaction as you to being given the nickname Belle Watling. But she really DOES become a friend to Melanie. :-) Thanks for shaing.

Kyle said...

Terrific stories and history behind them. They all make perfect sense, once you know the context.